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Power of chocolate

One of the world's favourite scents has a strange effect on book-lovers

Chocolate is not only associated with happiness and excitement, but it has the power to make us spend more time shopping for books, new research suggests.

The study was conducted by scientists at Hasselt University in Belgium over 10 days at a local bookstore. The bookstore smelt of chocolate for half of its business hours. The researchers found that customers were twice as likely to browse through books during those hours. Sales of books also increased, particularly those related to romance and food.

Scent marketing is not a new phenomenon. Marketers have for years been using aroma as a means to boost sales by attracting more people. Studies have shown that a pleasant smell has a positive effect on shoppers when they select products. It also encourages them to stay longer at a store and spend more.

The effect of the smell of chocolate on book sales in particular is encouraging. Here in the UAE, entrepreneurs can perhaps try to energise the book market by adding chocolate to their shelves or, perhaps, open a bookstore in the chocolate hub in Muroor Road in Abu Dhabi - where luxury chocolatiers spread out. People might follow their nose to buy more books.

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